Dave and Ed play nice together on the
happens when you get a bunch of Phoenix, Arizona's best-known
hard core rockcrawlers together to have a birthday bash?
Well, if you're Mr.Ed, you have friends like Dave Hickman,
who get bright ideas like...well...building a rock garden
out in his backyard!
this isn't just a little pile of rocks. Oh no.... This
is over 300 tons of very large rocks, 30+ tons of crushed
Granite, 30+ tons of river rock, plenty of dirt, 25 large,
wooden telephone poles (Mr.Ed still calls them "telegraph
poles", due to his advanced age), and under one hill
is one of Shannon Campbell's truck bodies.
those of you not familiar with Dave Hickman, he is one
of Arizona's most respected wheelers. Dave was the owner
of the "Black Widow" TJ and has now built himself
a new rockcrawling rig. Dave has run just about every
trail in the Southwest. Dave has gone and done what all
of us would like to do (admit it, you too). Dave built
his own 5-rated trail in his backyard, along with a fully-equiped
Mr.Ed, and other AZ wheelers all helped in the making
of a very difficult trail run.
the first truckload of rocks came in, it was all uphill",
Truck after truck unloaded massive
rocks in the yard.
neighbors sure could tell that something was going on,
as truck after truck of rocks rolled in. The rocks sliding
out of the huge steel beds of the semis and crashing to
the solid Arizona desert floor made sounds like a thunderous
stampede of ghostly buffalo were, once again, charging
through the quiet little town of Chandler, Arizona."
Mr.Ed says that Dave chose his property well, as his neighbor
has a full-blown BMX track built behind his home. His
other neighbor used to be a Jeeper, himself, so he loves
seeing the trail in his head over and over, Dave rented
a front loader and began placing the rocks where he wanted
them. He then dumped the dirt and river rocks over the
big rocks to help keep them in place, as during a test,
they discovered that even a five ton boulder can move
when a vehcle tries to go over it. After placing all of
the rocks, Dave put in another order for 1-3 foot rocks
to use as more boulder holders.
for extra fun, the 25 or more telephone polls were placed
throughout the trail. Some were anchored down and some
were left free to roll...just to "screw
you up," says Ed.
the chore of placing all of the rocks, dirt and poles,
the trail had to be tested. Dave had the honors, and,
luckily, he still had the loader, as it was needed to
pull Dave's vehicle off of the rocks on more than one
three days of work (fun?) it was considered "finished"
and is now the "Best Landscaped
Backyard in America," according to Ed.